by Inlander Staff Downtown Living -- SPOKANE -- The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) is holding its annual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Davenport Hotel. There's the usual business on the agenda, but the DSP is also going to announce the findings of an in-depth analysis of the housing market downtown.
"The focus of the meeting is to review and pause and celebrate the downtown accomplishments of 2002," says Michael Edwards, the DSP president. "I think we have made some pretty significant progress considering the state of the economy and the general state of mind right now."
The meeting's keynote address about downtown housing will be given by Laurie Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates, Specialists in Residential Market Analysis and Implementation Strategies for the New Urbanism.
"Volk is going to release the findings of the study we did," says Edwards, who doesn't want to spill the beans just yet. "There is a market for downtown living. The purpose for study was to investigate that market -- the details will come out at the meeting."
The DSP's annual meeting will be held on Wed., Feb. 26, at 7:30 am in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom of the Davenport Hotel. Must preregister. Call: 456-0580 ext. 107.
Through East Central -- SPOKANE -- Work on Phase Two of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) -- or the North-South Freeway -- is already underway, and as part of that project a design and access hearing will be held on Wednesday.
Phase Two runs from the Spokane River to I-90. On I-90 from the Liberty Park Interchange to the Sprague Avenue Interchange, an estimated 400 houses and apartments will be torn down to construct the NSC.
Though homes will be lost, the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) does not put people on the streets, as some rumors imply, says Al Gilson, DOT's Public Information Officer.
Gilson says the DOT is required by law to relocate all affected homeowners, pay for relocation expenses and purchase the homes for fair market value.
"We also provide relocation funding for tenants," he adds.
The majority of affected homes are in the East Central neighborhood, but Gilson says meetings held by the DOT in that neighborhood showed very strong support for the project.
Citizens can submit written comments and ask questions regarding the project during the design hearing. A limited access hearing will be held immediately after the open hearing, for affected property owners only.
That part will detail DOT's impact on each specific property, says Gilson.
The hearings begin at 10 am on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Ag Trade Center, 334 West Spokane Falls Blvd. The limited access hearing begins at 3 pm. Call: 324-6000.
Speaking of Poverty -- SPOKANE - Whitworth College and Bethel AME Church have put together a lecture series entitled, "Asset-Based Community Development," in an effort to take yet another stab at poverty. The invited speakers have dealt with poverty throughout their lives, so their advice and ideas come straight from the heart of the problem.
"Whitworth College is working on developing a poverty initiative," says Whitworth professor Julia Stronks. "We are very interested in the One Spokane movement and in work that other organizations have done on the issue."
Whitworth's initiative will focus on helping organizations do poverty-centered research and on providing volunteers from the college.
The series includes three lectures, beginning with Dr. James H. Johnson, a specialist in business demographics for minority groups, public policy and urban social geography from the University of North Carolina. Johnson will speak on "Creating Sustainable Communities in an Era of Fiscal Austerity," on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 pm.
The second, "Alleviating Poverty, Building Assets for World Class Cities," features Melvin Oliver on March 13. Oliver is the vice president of the Asset Building and Community Development Program at the Ford Foundation.
The last lecture will be held April 4. Dr. Hector Garza, the CEO and president of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, will be speaking on "Community and Educational Partnerships Advancing Opportunity to Become a World-Class Community."
The lectures will be held at Whitworth's Seeley G. Mudd Chapel. Optional meal is $8. Call: 777-3270.